Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Low-Impact Week

I've started several different posts trying to sort out my thoughts... and will have to settle for something short for now. Too much pacing the house and not enough Herodotus reading.

I may have finally broken myself of reading the anti-feminist mommy blogs, and have recently moved on to the hippie-liberal environmentalist blogs. (I mean both terms in the nicest way possible.) My verdict is still out on the whole global-warming issue and to what extent the sky is actually falling, but I have no problem at all with the idea that we middle-class Americans are still among the richest people on earth, and that our habits of thoughtless consumption are unloving and unnecessary.

Several movements are afoot to help people commit to lowering their consumption and carbon-footprint levels, in varying degrees and lengths of time. The Riot for Austerity a.k.a 90% Reduction is an amazing project but one which is far beyond me at this point (although her blog is the one that's been making my head spin during the last few days). I'm settling for Low-Impact Week, which starts this Friday. I'll try to have my goals up tonight or tomorrow.

I appreciate that these women are offering measurable goals and gradual steps toward environmental responsibility. And even if I'm not sure about all the statistics and what they mean, it's all very much tied to the corporate-consumerism that is so easy to dislike and so hard to resist. So I am glad for help in being more conscious about even the little choices, because they really do add up.

It's short notice, but check out Crunchy Chicken's ideas and see if you can implement a few.

In other related news, I finally managed to drop off my recycling today. The city told me that landlords were legally obligated to provide a recycling service, but Brooks thought ours had enough on his plate dealing with our building's inadequate and erratic electrical system. And I, being the take-it-all-on-myself-rather-than-rock-the-boat kind of person that I am, decided I could deliver it to the recycling center myself. Well... I did... after driving in circles around it looking for the entrance in a neighborhood where I really didn't want to get out of the car. Fortunately the phone number was on one of the gates so I called and they opened up. I'll probably do it again as long as I can keep it to one trip a month, now that I know where to go and that they do usually have the gate open.

But Herodotus awaits...

P.S. Sandwich of the week: grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper, and goat cheese on toasted sourdough bread.

P.S.2 I guess it wasn't as short as all that. Let's just say that short = rambling and inconclusive.


Michaela said...

I agree -- it's difficult to pin down all the effects we have on the environment and society. Many people assume that buying their groceries at Whole Foods means they're doing their part. From the little I've read, it's more complicated than that.

I can't consider where every t-shirt I buy comes from, but I suppose I can try to use less water and power (groan).

the Joneses said...

Although I come from the Southern environmentalists-are-all-kooks bloodline, I've started wincing every time I bag up cans and glass in a plastic garbage bag. So far haven't taken many steps to do much about it. It all seems so big. BH&G magazine had a section on "being green," and one comment was, "Who knew it was so easy to be green?" My reply was, It isn't, it changes your lifestyle, and if we think we can Be Green and Still Do Things Just the Same... well, life is full of disappointments.

If I didn't have dial-up, I'd follow all your links now. As it is, I'll get to them gradually. (Not paying $60/mo for cable internet access doesn't save the environment, but still we should get stickers in Heaven for it.)

-- SJ

Dana said...

Michaela: I can't afford to shop at Whole Foods (although I walk through the produce section as if it were an art gallery) so I'll have to try something cheaper like using less water.

Sara: You're quite right (although maybe not about the stickers in Heaven, sorry.) About the lifestyle change, I mean. It's popular to be green and organic but not in a way that really seems to have much impact. It reminds me of all the diet fads: everyone wanted to eat the same kind of food so they figured out how to make it with more chemicals so they could technically take out the fat, or the carbs, or whatever. I'd rather make moderate changes and have them be real ones. Oh and if you don't have much time to follow links, I recommend Walk Slowly Live Wildly, from my sidebar, to start with.